Could This Be the Worst Spiritual Yoga Song Ever? /// Perhaps Not

“I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don’t do that so much anymore.”
—Banksy, from Exit Through the Gift Shop

I can’t be sure, and I know I’ve been wrong about many things in my life, but I’m pretty f’ing certain that this David Newman and Donna De Lory written tune is quite possibly the worst “yoga song” I have ever heard in my entire life. That is, I used to think that, until I listened to the whole thing many many many times over. Now I’m wondering if it’s the best yoga song ever. Seriously. What the hell is happening to me?

Let’s be honest here. Just looking at that music studio full of spiritual heads gives me a minor panic attack. I mean, do you know how difficult it can be to have just regular old musicians get together, let alone musicians who act spiritual on their downtime? I can’t even begin to imagine the passive aggressive conscious ego-speak that must have been tossed around in that room.Then again, what do I know? I wasn’t there.

What I do know is that seeing this video reminds me of the nightmare that is going to see Krishna Das perform and having to watch all the exceptionally aware fans of “KD” get all aggressive with their reserved seats while trying to fumble with the best way of saying, “Uh, I saved this zabutan for my cosmic soul-partner, asshole. Move over.” [As an aside, if you ever want to convince yourself that the world is an awful angry place, just go see Krishna Das and get there early enough to sit in the front while everyone is filing in jostling for a good seat. Then, just sit back and watch the magic that is spiritual people trying to be “compassionate” in an uncomfortable and cramped place].

Anyway, what can I say about this video? Well, first, at times it’s very uncomfortable to watch.

Second, the sitar player isn’t even in the mix once it all gets going.

Third, the smiling makes me uncomfortable ’cause I don’t believe it.

Fourth, there are too many dad-like people “groove dancing.”

Fifth, I wonder if Shyamdas felt just the slightest bit more spiritual than the others.

Sixth, when you twirl around like a faux-dervish while a recording is in session you will inevitably make so much noise that the take will be a loss. So those scenes are probably staged.

Seventh, why is Govindas there?

Eighth, if that’s the Kirtaniyas on the harmonium and mridanga (it is), I’m sorry, but you were cut from the final mix until the end.

Ninth, looks like Dahveed is making the rounds having recently been seen jamming with The Babarazzi’s favorite yogi, Travis Elliot.

Tenth, I’ve actually lost count of how many times someone sings and either A. touches their “heart,” or B. closes their eyes and “goes inward.”

Also, the guy above (Joey Lugassy) who now looks like this…

Used to look like this…

Eleventh, I have night terrors that look like this.

Twelfth, and I need to be straight up here, if you actually listen to this song all the way through a few times, it becomes harder and harder to dislike it. In fact, you start to feel kinda really good about it.

Black magic!

I’m guessing this is one of those “mirror” experiences. You know those ones when your feelings about a particular thing say more about you than the thing itself.

Leave me alone.

____________________

Thanks to Thaddeus and Frances for the pass-along.

37 comments

  1. Bryan

    Watchu got against black magic, player?

  2. You’re killing me. Fucking Shyam Das. I gotta get the older kid to school and I’m laughing at this instead.

  3. Linda-Sama

    your description of the jostling at a KD concert made me blow my morning chai out my nose….

  4. Paula

    Who are all these people?

  5. Chai Fan

    “I can’t even begin to imagine the passive aggressive conscious ego-speak that must have been tossed around in that room.”- Nailed it! This whole thing is hilarious, and I too blew the chai out the nose… (“The Babarazzi’s favorite yogi- Travis Elliot”…BWAH HAHAAAAHH!)

  6. jorge

    hahahaha. great post. love this- “let alone musicians who act spiritual on their downtime? I can’t even begin to imagine the passive aggressive conscious ego-speak that must have been tossed around in that room.”

    and thanks for touching on the KD shenanigans, that was the first thing i thought of too. KD is so awesome, but after having seen him live a few times, all i can think of now whenever i try to put him on in the home/cave is the inevitable lady standing to the side of stage going in to samadhi and demoing her favy mudras for us all to witness….KD is completely ruined for me!

    well, this song is pretty bad, as much as i hate to diss on anyone just having a good time….definitely has the black magic effect though, at minute 8 my foot was tapping, i cant lie.

    have you heard this?- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZZDyJKT7HE
    i was so excited when i first heard about it, i mean you got the same guy who was in dinosaur jr AND did a cover of what we do is secret by the germs now chanting for devi moms!?!?!? it’s the big bad black magic indeed, first couple listens it was just funny…..then it quickly moved to the top of my play list and i couldn’t get enough of it.you’d be insane to say that this is pretty fucking rockin- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDg69CkiMD4

    • Oooo… you have peaked my interest. I will check these out later! And, I agree. While I’ve been know to sit in a room for weeks balling while listening to KD’s Hanuman Chalisa (back off my “moments,” haters), seeing him live is not something I will again rush to do. At least not until I’m older, using a cane, and have no chance of fighting off the yoga moms who sit around wanking off to images of KD caressing their decolletage.

    • I’m partial to punks chanting and singing about their gurus, so I’m gonna give a thumbs up to those. J Mascis has been a pretty trust-worthy artist. “The Wagon” alone earns him that status.

  7. When I first scanned the article. I thought that Joey dude was Ron Jeremy…
    I have nothing against easy-listening spiritually-inspired music, I like George Harrison as much the next person but Babs, I’m worried about you. You can’t go from Fugazi and Van Halen to this “We are the World” rip-off. (That’s like Christopher Hitchens going from Noam Chomsky to George W. Bush in the space of one day. It only happens if something traumatic has happened.)
    Music therapy is the only antidote.
    Try doing your practice in a candle lit room to this, you’ll be fine:

    • Ha, EER, what can I say? I was “moved.” Perhaps it’s because I’m really just a sentimentalist at heart. One who also can get very into “easy-listening spiritually-inspired music” especially if there’s a cello or “ambient winds.” On the level, I was listening to Enya, like when I was also listening to Project Pitchfork and Ministry. It’s all part of it. PS_ I assumed Hitchens did go from Chompsky to Bush in a day. Never could stand that angry man (pbuh).

  8. the moment already came

    Whoa, wait, I gotta listen to this hoo-hash two or three times before the magic starts?! Baba, this “song” is 11-minutes long. After half an hour, even a colonoscopy feels pretty magical.

    Too much comfortable tunics and back-patting for me. Some excellent sustainably-harvested, fair-trade mustaches, though.

    • “Comfortable tunics.” That got an LOL. I am going to “borrow” (read: steal) that.

    • And this? “Some excellent sustainably-harvested, fair-trade mustaches…” That’s….ridiculous. Why aren’t you submitting articles to us?

      • the moment already came

        Are you saying the Babarazzi might have a burqa in my size? Could I bedazzle it? So, so tempting.

        On the other hand, to quote the 1987 Goldie Hawn / Kurt Russell classic, Overboard: “But darling, if you have a baby, you can’t be the baby anymore.”

        Nah, for the moment, I think I do my best work playing Elena to your John.

        😉

  9. gross

    yikes. could that donna delory person be any more annoying to look at?

  10. Linda-Sama

    think I counted 2, maybe 3 people whose skin is darker than mine? otherwise that would fall under “things white [new agey] people do.”

    • Yoga Whelp

      Tut tut, LS, plenty of clueless New Age-oriented people of color, many of them “Desi” Lu-Lu productions, I might add..

  11. gross

    its amazing that someone was filming everything they did, every move they made. for some people it didn’t happen if it didn’t get recorded and used for promotion. i personally like most of these individuals, but the whole thing does feel a little “too feel good”. and that cc white person is the 1st person to manipulate the sound guys to turn down her co-back-up singers monitors and vocal mic and increase her own. she literally is a kirtan DIVA bully. . . pushing around those little spiritual white girls. oh bhakti, oh kirtan, oh love, oh togetherness and oneness… just make sure your voice is the loudest.

  12. __MikeG__

    At least they are (mostly) singing in a language they understand. Much better than feigning loving adoration while mouthing words one doesn’t understand during the typical kirtan. I just received an email from a local studio advertising a bhakti yoga class followed by a kirtan on Thanksgiving. Fuck me. I cannot think of anything more horrifying.

  13. Yoga Whelp

    This is like “The Last Waltz” – but for the roadies who blew dope the whole time. In fact, it’s probably the roadie reunion +40, because, well, it was like the most formative experience of my life, man.

  14. Melissa

    that white sweater coat woman needs to bring her kundalini back to the bedroom. and maybe her ego out for some time in a solo zen garden. enough already. blech.

    Also, this site completely makes my day on a regular basis. please never leave us.

  15. Thaddeus

    Here’s what I have to say about this. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkln3K2Z_u4&feature=player_embedded) Especially around 1:30.

    That and this pretty much sealed the deal…no more Bhakti Fest for me.

    • And, let’s just throw the late great Aindra Prabhu in there for good measure, whose truly deconstructed approach to the bhajan would forever keep people alert and ready for hairpin turns of meter. Kinda perfect example:

      • gross

        wow, i LOVE that you brought Aindra. although part of me feels to even mention his name anywhere near this site is blasphemous.

      • Thaddeus

        Those are the real role models of bhakti.

        I dare say, I feel that the above company (with the exception of Shyam das, who is the smartest, most devoted guy in that room by light years) could learn a thing or two from either Aindra or Madhava Prabhus. Although, admittedly this may put a cramp their rock star futures.

  16. Greenpoint

    Classic case of something that is “over produced”…

    all too contrived…

  17. Don’t worry. I was there. I kept it under control.

  18. Montino

    Could this be the worst spiritual song? As an indian musician, I have to say that I don’t see the slightest vestige of Indian music in this. I don’t know if it’s the worst, but I do find it fairly forgettable.

  19. Jon Anderson

    No, you’re right. This is the worst spiritual song ever recorded. The only thing that makes it passable is that it was done for charity and seriously, that’s great. The rest is a wretched, deplorable, meglo-maniacal dance through the quasi bhakti shit storm that is the western bhakti movement. So many great people here as individuals but when they come together like this they make it seem like it’s an exclusive club or something. kinda like that shit show that’s the All Star Jam at the end of Bhakti Fest. Notice all the great people have already left by the time that’s going on (no KD or Jai or Deva). And you have this clown Shiva Baum getting a “producer” credit. The guy has never done anything in his life and somehow the bhakti community puffs him up cause his parents were with Neem Karoli. It’s a joke. The whole thing.

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